Friday, November 6, 2009

"Tinker to Evers to Chance!"


In the early 1900's no baseball fan, outside Chicago, wanted to hear those immortal words. As a follow-up to a recent post by Andrew at Sports Card Info, and his quest at acquiring T-206 relic cards Joe Tinker and Johnny Evers, some news on the high-end auction circuit might, just might, make it possible to complete this historic double play combination in a mini-collection of relic cards. Albeit much too late to make it into the 100-year Anniversary set, scheduled for release later this month by Topps, Legendary Auctions has a vintage Frank Chance jersey on the block. (Lot details here.) Unlike Ruth jerseys, of which their are several, this is a true rarity and I hope this one doesn't end up in little pieces, however, stranger things have happened.

As for the Cubs trio, some additional background and the full to which Andrew made reference too.

Chicago Cubs infielders Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance formed the most memorable double-play combination in the history of baseball. Their consistently solid fielding and hitting led the Cubs to four National League pennants (1906-8, 1910) and two World Series wins (1907-8). The Hall of Fame inducted all three simultaneously in 1946. In 1910, New York newspaper columnist Franklin Pierce Adams immortalized the three ballplayers in a short verse entitled:

"Baseball's Sad Lexicon"

These are the saddest of possible words:

"Tinker to Evers to Chance."

Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds, Tinker and Evers and Chance.

Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,*

Making a Giant hit into a double--

Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:

"Tinker to Evers to Chance."

* The term "gonfalon" refers to a flag or pennant, and Adams uses the phrase "pricking our gonfalon bubble" to describe the repeated success of the Chicago Cubs and their celebrated infield against their National League rivals, his beloved New York Giants.

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